Monday, February 4, 2013

A bureaucracy big enough to fix its own mistakes.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, on Wednesday, the Cook County Jail in Chicago accidentally released a convicted murder from jail prior to the man's sentence being completed.  The man, Steven Robbins, was apprehended on Saturday.

Mr. Robbins was released because the his jailers thought he had completed his sentence on a minor drug charge and were unaware that Mr. Robbin was supposed be serving a sentence for murder in Indiana.  The Cook County Sheriff blamed the error on his "office's archaic, paper-based system that tracks inmates contributed to the mistake." The article is unclear as to how a non-paper-based system to determine when to release inmates would have prevented the mistake.

To his credit, the Sheriff also "said his department deserves blame."  The Tribune quotes the Sheriff as saying "We let people down, no mistake about it."

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